Monthly Archives: September 2007

More Sukkot Fun and Games

Shake that lulav: Back by popular demand.

Get your cat in shape: Yes, all those extra holiday snacks have made Fluffy a very fat kitty.  But never fear—there are some great options out there to help her shed that feline flab:

Don’t forget!  Just three more days to send in your sukkah pictures!

Still Swimming?

Eeeewwww! Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water

Life in the Sukkah

A friendly invasion: Gill’s family arrives last night for our annual Sukkot gathering.  Good food, conversation, wine.  Nadine hides in the linen cupboard, and glares balefully at her cousins, Rona and Maya, when they peek at her.

We light a smoke stick to keep the mosquitoes at bay, and it seems to work.  Surprisingly, it also protects us from scorpions.  My eagle-eyed brother-in-law Aaron spots a black scorpion on the garden wall, and whips out the smoke stick to use as a weapon, effectively chopping the scorpion in half before anyone can get stung.  I am not sure that the manufacturers had that in mind, but…

Shake, shake, shake your lulav: I have the most pathetic-looking lulav imaginable.  It sheds with each shake. 

Oh, those whacky Aussies: Cleaning fluid shots, anyone?

Send Those Sukkah Pictures!

The competition is open!  As everyone is getting the finishing touches on their sukkah in preparation for tonight (erev Sukkot), I want to take this opportunity to remind you to take a picture and sent it in!  Ours is up, complete with the traditional alligator and plastic mangos (don’t ask).  It won’t be the real deal, though, until Nadine comes out and sits in it.

Here are the rules:

  • Send me a picture of your sukkah to
  • You are welcome to add any info that you want included with the pictures (for example, explanations of why you have a plumber’s helper hanging from the schach).
  • JPGs appreciated; I will resize as necessary.
  • All pictures that pass our rigorous screening process (“Oh, look, a picture of someone’s sukkah!”) will get posted before the end of Sukkot in one post.
  • Readers can vote via comments for their favorite.
  • The winner will be announced in a later post.
  • The winner gets bragging rights and a bag full of Nadine’s harvested fluff (optional).

Here’s what’s not allowed:

  • Pictures you swiped off the Internet.
  • Photoshop extras (“Oh, look, Larry has Mick Jagger and two circus seals in his sukkah!”). Then again, knowing Larry…
  • Any pictures featuring demon spawn (i.e., children).
  • Any pictures featuring obscene acts performed with a lulav and/or etrog.

Go get ’em and chag s’meach to all!

It’s Not Too Late to Punctuate!

Close call:  I almost miss National Punctuation DayHat tip to a State-side friend.

Microsoft Catware

Evil, evil kitty: I’m trying to do some work and Nadine is screaming at me.  It is only 9:30, yet she is already demanding food.  Her food dish is full.  “Tuna me!” she meows frantically.  “Tuna me noooooooooowwwwww!!!”  I keep ignoring her.  She keeps screaming.  Finally, she decides that it is time to really get my attention, so she whacks the reboot switch on my computer.  Now, if I can only find the reboot switch on that damn cat…

Sukkah contest:  Well, not really a contest, but an invitation…  This Sukkot, I invite all of you to send me a picture of your sukkah in full decorated glory.  I’ll put all entries up and let people vote for their favorites. 

Another Fast Fast

An easy fast:  This year’s remarkably mild weather helps make the fast a breeze.  Even though I slip out as they start Musaf and don’t return until they’ve almost finished Mincha, it is still a long day with a lot of hours logged in the beit knesset. Our kehillah takes a very equal-opportunity approach to t’fillot by allowing even a tone-deaf bullfrog to act as shaliach tzibur. I guess the plan is to make God laugh so hard that she’ll forgive all our sins…

What?!  Columbia University defends their invitation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by saying, “Sure, we would invite Hitler.”  I am very saddened by this confusion many people have between protecting freedom of speech and providing legitimacy to lunatics, fanatics, and others of their ilk.  By providing a serious forum, Columbia lends credence to these knuckleheads.  They have enough soapboxes in the world; they don’t need our help.  Hat tip to Northern LS.

More hatzavim:Northern LS is not only a prolific contributor to this blog, but she also happens to work with Lior Carmon, who is a talented photographer.  Lior has provided these closeups of hatzavim.